Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, ISSN - 0973 - 709X

Users Online : 43796

AbstractMaterial and MethodsResultsDiscussionConclusionReferencesDOI and Others
Article in PDF How to Cite Citation Manager Readers' Comments (0) Audio Visual Article Statistics Link to PUBMED Print this Article Send to a Friend
Advertisers Access Statistics Resources

Dr Mohan Z Mani

"Thank you very much for having published my article in record time.I would like to compliment you and your entire staff for your promptness, courtesy, and willingness to be customer friendly, which is quite unusual.I was given your reference by a colleague in pathology,and was able to directly phone your editorial office for clarifications.I would particularly like to thank the publication managers and the Assistant Editor who were following up my article. I would also like to thank you for adjusting the money I paid initially into payment for my modified article,and refunding the balance.
I wish all success to your journal and look forward to sending you any suitable similar article in future"

Dr Mohan Z Mani,
Professor & Head,
Department of Dermatolgy,
Believers Church Medical College,
Thiruvalla, Kerala
On Sep 2018

Prof. Somashekhar Nimbalkar

"Over the last few years, we have published our research regularly in Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research. Having published in more than 20 high impact journals over the last five years including several high impact ones and reviewing articles for even more journals across my fields of interest, we value our published work in JCDR for their high standards in publishing scientific articles. The ease of submission, the rapid reviews in under a month, the high quality of their reviewers and keen attention to the final process of proofs and publication, ensure that there are no mistakes in the final article. We have been asked clarifications on several occasions and have been happy to provide them and it exemplifies the commitment to quality of the team at JCDR."

Prof. Somashekhar Nimbalkar
Head, Department of Pediatrics, Pramukhswami Medical College, Karamsad
Chairman, Research Group, Charutar Arogya Mandal, Karamsad
National Joint Coordinator - Advanced IAP NNF NRP Program
Ex-Member, Governing Body, National Neonatology Forum, New Delhi
Ex-President - National Neonatology Forum Gujarat State Chapter
Department of Pediatrics, Pramukhswami Medical College, Karamsad, Anand, Gujarat.
On Sep 2018

Dr. Kalyani R

"Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research is at present a well-known Indian originated scientific journal which started with a humble beginning. I have been associated with this journal since many years. I appreciate the Editor, Dr. Hemant Jain, for his constant effort in bringing up this journal to the present status right from the scratch. The journal is multidisciplinary. It encourages in publishing the scientific articles from postgraduates and also the beginners who start their career. At the same time the journal also caters for the high quality articles from specialty and super-specialty researchers. Hence it provides a platform for the scientist and researchers to publish. The other aspect of it is, the readers get the information regarding the most recent developments in science which can be used for teaching, research, treating patients and to some extent take preventive measures against certain diseases. The journal is contributing immensely to the society at national and international level."

Dr Kalyani R
Professor and Head
Department of Pathology
Sri Devaraj Urs Medical College
Sri Devaraj Urs Academy of Higher Education and Research , Kolar, Karnataka
On Sep 2018

Dr. Saumya Navit

"As a peer-reviewed journal, the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research provides an opportunity to researchers, scientists and budding professionals to explore the developments in the field of medicine and dentistry and their varied specialities, thus extending our view on biological diversities of living species in relation to medicine.
‘Knowledge is treasure of a wise man.’ The free access of this journal provides an immense scope of learning for the both the old and the young in field of medicine and dentistry as well. The multidisciplinary nature of the journal makes it a better platform to absorb all that is being researched and developed. The publication process is systematic and professional. Online submission, publication and peer reviewing makes it a user-friendly journal.
As an experienced dentist and an academician, I proudly recommend this journal to the dental fraternity as a good quality open access platform for rapid communication of their cutting-edge research progress and discovery.
I wish JCDR a great success and I hope that journal will soar higher with the passing time."

Dr Saumya Navit
Professor and Head
Department of Pediatric Dentistry
Saraswati Dental College
On Sep 2018

Dr. Arunava Biswas

"My sincere attachment with JCDR as an author as well as reviewer is a learning experience . Their systematic approach in publication of article in various categories is really praiseworthy.
Their prompt and timely response to review's query and the manner in which they have set the reviewing process helps in extracting the best possible scientific writings for publication.
It's a honour and pride to be a part of the JCDR team. My very best wishes to JCDR and hope it will sparkle up above the sky as a high indexed journal in near future."

Dr. Arunava Biswas
MD, DM (Clinical Pharmacology)
Assistant Professor
Department of Pharmacology
Calcutta National Medical College & Hospital , Kolkata

Dr. C.S. Ramesh Babu
" Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research (JCDR) is a multi-specialty medical and dental journal publishing high quality research articles in almost all branches of medicine. The quality of printing of figures and tables is excellent and comparable to any International journal. An added advantage is nominal publication charges and monthly issue of the journal and more chances of an article being accepted for publication. Moreover being a multi-specialty journal an article concerning a particular specialty has a wider reach of readers of other related specialties also. As an author and reviewer for several years I find this Journal most suitable and highly recommend this Journal."
Best regards,
C.S. Ramesh Babu,
Associate Professor of Anatomy,
Muzaffarnagar Medical College,
On Aug 2018

Dr. Arundhathi. S
"Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research (JCDR) is a reputed peer reviewed journal and is constantly involved in publishing high quality research articles related to medicine. Its been a great pleasure to be associated with this esteemed journal as a reviewer and as an author for a couple of years. The editorial board consists of many dedicated and reputed experts as its members and they are doing an appreciable work in guiding budding researchers. JCDR is doing a commendable job in scientific research by promoting excellent quality research & review articles and case reports & series. The reviewers provide appropriate suggestions that improve the quality of articles. I strongly recommend my fraternity to encourage JCDR by contributing their valuable research work in this widely accepted, user friendly journal. I hope my collaboration with JCDR will continue for a long time".

Dr. Arundhathi. S
MBBS, MD (Pathology),
Sanjay Gandhi institute of trauma and orthopedics,
On Aug 2018

Dr. Mamta Gupta,
"It gives me great pleasure to be associated with JCDR, since last 2-3 years. Since then I have authored, co-authored and reviewed about 25 articles in JCDR. I thank JCDR for giving me an opportunity to improve my own skills as an author and a reviewer.
It 's a multispecialty journal, publishing high quality articles. It gives a platform to the authors to publish their research work which can be available for everyone across the globe to read. The best thing about JCDR is that the full articles of all medical specialties are available as pdf/html for reading free of cost or without institutional subscription, which is not there for other journals. For those who have problem in writing manuscript or do statistical work, JCDR comes for their rescue.
The journal has a monthly publication and the articles are published quite fast. In time compared to other journals. The on-line first publication is also a great advantage and facility to review one's own articles before going to print. The response to any query and permission if required, is quite fast; this is quite commendable. I have a very good experience about seeking quick permission for quoting a photograph (Fig.) from a JCDR article for my chapter authored in an E book. I never thought it would be so easy. No hassles.
Reviewing articles is no less a pain staking process and requires in depth perception, knowledge about the topic for review. It requires time and concentration, yet I enjoy doing it. The JCDR website especially for the reviewers is quite user friendly. My suggestions for improving the journal is, more strict review process, so that only high quality articles are published. I find a a good number of articles in Obst. Gynae, hence, a new journal for this specialty titled JCDR-OG can be started. May be a bimonthly or quarterly publication to begin with. Only selected articles should find a place in it.
An yearly reward for the best article authored can also incentivize the authors. Though the process of finding the best article will be not be very easy. I do not know how reviewing process can be improved. If an article is being reviewed by two reviewers, then opinion of one can be communicated to the other or the final opinion of the editor can be communicated to the reviewer if requested for. This will help one’s reviewing skills.
My best wishes to Dr. Hemant Jain and all the editorial staff of JCDR for their untiring efforts to bring out this journal. I strongly recommend medical fraternity to publish their valuable research work in this esteemed journal, JCDR".

Dr. Mamta Gupta
(Ex HOD Obs &Gynae, Hindu Rao Hospital and associated NDMC Medical College, Delhi)
Aug 2018

Dr. Rajendra Kumar Ghritlaharey

"I wish to thank Dr. Hemant Jain, Editor-in-Chief Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research (JCDR), for asking me to write up few words.
Writing is the representation of language in a textual medium i e; into the words and sentences on paper. Quality medical manuscript writing in particular, demands not only a high-quality research, but also requires accurate and concise communication of findings and conclusions, with adherence to particular journal guidelines. In medical field whether working in teaching, private, or in corporate institution, everyone wants to excel in his / her own field and get recognised by making manuscripts publication.

Authors are the souls of any journal, and deserve much respect. To publish a journal manuscripts are needed from authors. Authors have a great responsibility for producing facts of their work in terms of number and results truthfully and an individual honesty is expected from authors in this regards. Both ways its true "No authors-No manuscripts-No journals" and "No journals–No manuscripts–No authors". Reviewing a manuscript is also a very responsible and important task of any peer-reviewed journal and to be taken seriously. It needs knowledge on the subject, sincerity, honesty and determination. Although the process of reviewing a manuscript is a time consuming task butit is expected to give one's best remarks within the time frame of the journal.
Salient features of the JCDR: It is a biomedical, multidisciplinary (including all medical and dental specialities), e-journal, with wide scope and extensive author support. At the same time, a free text of manuscript is available in HTML and PDF format. There is fast growing authorship and readership with JCDR as this can be judged by the number of articles published in it i e; in Feb 2007 of its first issue, it contained 5 articles only, and now in its recent volume published in April 2011, it contained 67 manuscripts. This e-journal is fulfilling the commitments and objectives sincerely, (as stated by Editor-in-chief in his preface to first edition) i e; to encourage physicians through the internet, especially from the developing countries who witness a spectrum of disease and acquire a wealth of knowledge to publish their experiences to benefit the medical community in patients care. I also feel that many of us have work of substance, newer ideas, adequate clinical materials but poor in medical writing and hesitation to submit the work and need help. JCDR provides authors help in this regards.
Timely publication of journal: Publication of manuscripts and bringing out the issue in time is one of the positive aspects of JCDR and is possible with strong support team in terms of peer reviewers, proof reading, language check, computer operators, etc. This is one of the great reasons for authors to submit their work with JCDR. Another best part of JCDR is "Online first Publications" facilities available for the authors. This facility not only provides the prompt publications of the manuscripts but at the same time also early availability of the manuscripts for the readers.
Indexation and online availability: Indexation transforms the journal in some sense from its local ownership to the worldwide professional community and to the public.JCDR is indexed with Embase & EMbiology, Google Scholar, Index Copernicus, Chemical Abstracts Service, Journal seek Database, Indian Science Abstracts, to name few of them. Manuscriptspublished in JCDR are available on major search engines ie; google, yahoo, msn.
In the era of fast growing newer technologies, and in computer and internet friendly environment the manuscripts preparation, submission, review, revision, etc and all can be done and checked with a click from all corer of the world, at any time. Of course there is always a scope for improvement in every field and none is perfect. To progress, one needs to identify the areas of one's weakness and to strengthen them.
It is well said that "happy beginning is half done" and it fits perfectly with JCDR. It has grown considerably and I feel it has already grown up from its infancy to adolescence, achieving the status of standard online e-journal form Indian continent since its inception in Feb 2007. This had been made possible due to the efforts and the hard work put in it. The way the JCDR is improving with every new volume, with good quality original manuscripts, makes it a quality journal for readers. I must thank and congratulate Dr Hemant Jain, Editor-in-Chief JCDR and his team for their sincere efforts, dedication, and determination for making JCDR a fast growing journal.
Every one of us: authors, reviewers, editors, and publisher are responsible for enhancing the stature of the journal. I wish for a great success for JCDR."

Thanking you
With sincere regards
Dr. Rajendra Kumar Ghritlaharey, M.S., M. Ch., FAIS
Associate Professor,
Department of Paediatric Surgery, Gandhi Medical College & Associated
Kamla Nehru & Hamidia Hospitals Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh 462 001 (India)
On May 11,2011

Dr. Shankar P.R.

"On looking back through my Gmail archives after being requested by the journal to write a short editorial about my experiences of publishing with the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research (JCDR), I came across an e-mail from Dr. Hemant Jain, Editor, in March 2007, which introduced the new electronic journal. The main features of the journal which were outlined in the e-mail were extensive author support, cash rewards, the peer review process, and other salient features of the journal.
Over a span of over four years, we (I and my colleagues) have published around 25 articles in the journal. In this editorial, I plan to briefly discuss my experiences of publishing with JCDR and the strengths of the journal and to finally address the areas for improvement.
My experiences of publishing with JCDR: Overall, my experiences of publishing withJCDR have been positive. The best point about the journal is that it responds to queries from the author. This may seem to be simple and not too much to ask for, but unfortunately, many journals in the subcontinent and from many developing countries do not respond or they respond with a long delay to the queries from the authors 1. The reasons could be many, including lack of optimal secretarial and other support. Another problem with many journals is the slowness of the review process. Editorial processing and peer review can take anywhere between a year to two years with some journals. Also, some journals do not keep the contributors informed about the progress of the review process. Due to the long review process, the articles can lose their relevance and topicality. A major benefit with JCDR is the timeliness and promptness of its response. In Dr Jain's e-mail which was sent to me in 2007, before the introduction of the Pre-publishing system, he had stated that he had received my submission and that he would get back to me within seven days and he did!
Most of the manuscripts are published within 3 to 4 months of their submission if they are found to be suitable after the review process. JCDR is published bimonthly and the accepted articles were usually published in the next issue. Recently, due to the increased volume of the submissions, the review process has become slower and it ?? Section can take from 4 to 6 months for the articles to be reviewed. The journal has an extensive author support system and it has recently introduced a paid expedited review process. The journal also mentions the average time for processing the manuscript under different submission systems - regular submission and expedited review.
Strengths of the journal: The journal has an online first facility in which the accepted manuscripts may be published on the website before being included in a regular issue of the journal. This cuts down the time between their acceptance and the publication. The journal is indexed in many databases, though not in PubMed. The editorial board should now take steps to index the journal in PubMed. The journal has a system of notifying readers through e-mail when a new issue is released. Also, the articles are available in both the HTML and the PDF formats. I especially like the new and colorful page format of the journal. Also, the access statistics of the articles are available. The prepublication and the manuscript tracking system are also helpful for the authors.
Areas for improvement: In certain cases, I felt that the peer review process of the manuscripts was not up to international standards and that it should be strengthened. Also, the number of manuscripts in an issue is high and it may be difficult for readers to go through all of them. The journal can consider tightening of the peer review process and increasing the quality standards for the acceptance of the manuscripts. I faced occasional problems with the online manuscript submission (Pre-publishing) system, which have to be addressed.
Overall, the publishing process with JCDR has been smooth, quick and relatively hassle free and I can recommend other authors to consider the journal as an outlet for their work."

Dr. P. Ravi Shankar
KIST Medical College, P.O. Box 14142, Kathmandu, Nepal.
On April 2011

Dear team JCDR, I would like to thank you for the very professional and polite service provided by everyone at JCDR. While i have been in the field of writing and editing for sometime, this has been my first attempt in publishing a scientific paper.Thank you for hand-holding me through the process.

Dr. Anuradha
On Jan 2020

Important Notice

Original article / research
Year : 2021 | Month : August | Volume : 15 | Issue : 8 | Page : QC13 - QC16 Full Version

Oral Health Awareness and Practices among Pregnant Women Receiving Antenatal Care in a Low Resource Setting: A Cross-sectional Study of Antenatal Attendees in Enugu, Southeastern Nigeria

Published: August 1, 2021 | DOI:
Chidinma Ifechi Onwuka, Peter Chukwudi Udealor, Emeka Iloghalu, Chidozie Ifechi Onwuka, Euzebus Chinonye Ezugwu, Ifeanyi Emmanuel Menuba

1. Senior Lecturer, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, UNN/UNTH, Enugu, Nigeria. 2. Lecturer, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, UNN/UNTH, Enugu, Nigeria. 3. Senior Lecturer, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, UNN/UNTH, Enugu, Nigeria. 4. Assistant Professor, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, King Khalid University, Abha, Saudi Arabia. 5. Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, UNN/UNTH, Enugu, Nigeria. 6. Lecturer, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, UNN/UNTH, Enugu, Nigeria.

Correspondence Address :
Dr. Chidinma Ifechi Onwuka,
Senior Lecturer, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, UNN/UNTH,
Ituku/Ozalla, Enugu, Nigeria.


Introduction: Poor oral health status in pregnant women is known to be associated with poor outcomes in pregnancies. Despite this, the oral health status of pregnant women has been grossly overlooked during antenatal period.

Aim: To determine the awareness and practices of oral health among pregnant women in Enugu, Southeastern Nigeria.

Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional questionnaire based study of 413 women who attended the antenatal clinic of University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Ituku/Ozalla from January 2018 to May 2018. An interviewer administered semi-structured questionnaire which was pretested before the commencement of the study was used. The information obtained was analysed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 22.0. A p-value of <0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Results: A total of 350 (84.75%) of the respondents used toothbrush and toothpaste for oral cleaning, 229 (55.45%) brushed at least twice a day while 258 (62.5%) changed their brushes every three months. Only 161 (39%) of the respondents knew that pregnancy can affect oral health while 101 (24.5%) of the respondents knew that poor oral health in pregnancy could have adverse effects on the unborn child; of whom only 30 (29.70%) got the information from their Obstetricians.

Conclusion: There were knowledge gaps in the oral health of pregnant women in Enugu southeastern Nigeria. It is therefore important to provide oral health education for pregnant women during antenatal period in order to improve the health of the mother and her baby.


Gingivitis, Obstetrician, Periodontal diseases, Pregnancy

The oral health of pregnant women is important because several complex physiological changes occur in the mouth during pregnancy (1),(2),(3). The gingiva is most commonly affected in pregnancy due to the increase in oestrogen level that is associated with pregnancy and this may lead to bleeding gums in pregnancy (2).

Periodontal disease caused by gram negative anaerobic organisms (4) are one of the most infectious diseases in human (2). Pregnant women are more likely to develop periodontal diseases especially gingivitis (5) because of hormonal influences. Gingivitis is the inflammation of the tissues surrounding a tooth but there is no loss of periodontal attachment (6). Periodontal disease may also present as periodontitis, which is the inflammation and destruction of supporting tissues around the teeth (6). There could be a connection between periodontal disease and adverse pregnancy outcome like preterm births, intrauterine growth restriction and pre-eclampsia (1),(2),(4),(5). High level of cariogenic bacteria in mothers has been associated with an increase in dental caries in the infants (7). Periodontal disease can be prevented as well as treated by controlling plaques through flossing, brushing and scaling and polishing (6).

Although, oral health is important, many pregnant women do not seek oral care; even those with obvious disease of the oral cavity (3). In addition, many healthcare givers including obstetricians do not seem to take a keen interest in the oral health of pregnant women. This may probably be because they do not understand the importance of the oral health of the pregnant women or they are being too cautious because of concerns for foetal safety during dental treatment (7). This fear is unfounded because dental treatment can be safely carried out at any time during pregnancy (6).

Pregnancy, however, is important period in a woman’s lifetime when the woman can be encouraged to adopt healthy changes to improve their oral health and extend it to her offspring (6). In addition, health professionals need to encourage to take care of the maternal oral health in order to improve pregnancy outcomes and reduce the risk of childhood caries (6). These can be achieved by the prevention of oral diseases, early diagnosis and referral to a dentist (6).

World Health Organisation (WHO) recognises the importance of oral health. Oral health disease is said to be a major burden on health programs on many countries (8). WHO is committed to ensure oral health by shifting the focus from invasive dental treatment to prevention and more of minor treatment instead (8). Pregnancy being a “teachable” time gives a good opportunity for prevention of oral diseases and also reduces the dental caries among the offsprings (9). In Nigeria, until recently, there was no clear oral health policy despite the importance of oral health and WHO recommendation (10). The national oral health policy which is aimed at seeking an improvement in the health status of the people by making oral healthcare part of the primary healthcare was recently adopted, but its full implementation has not started (10),(11).

Very little is known about the oral health of pregnant women in Enugu, southeastern Nigeria, thus necessitating this study. The information generated will hopefully help in developing policies and programmes that will help in improving the oral health of pregnant women in the region and by extension improve their obstetric outcome. The aim of this study was to assess the knowledge and practices of oral health among pregnant women in Enugu, Nigeria.

Material and Methods

This was a cross-sectional questionnaire based study of consecutive women who attended the antenatal clinic of University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Ituku/Ozalla, Enugu State, Nigeria from January 2018 to May 2018. UNTH is a Federal tertiary hospital situated in Ituku Ozalla which is at the outskirt of Enugu State. It offers antenatal care to pregnant women on a daily basis from Monday to Friday. Pregnant women are usually seen four weekly until 28 weeks, two weekly until 36 weeks, and then weekly until delivery. Ethical approval was obtained from the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital Health Research Ethics Committee (Ref. UNTH/CSA/329/Vol.5). An informed consent was obtained from the respondents and they were reassured of the confidentiality of the information obtained.

Inclusion criteria: Pregnant women attending the antenatal clinic of the hospital within the study period who gave their consent were included in the study.

Exclusion criteria: However, pregnant women with dentures, oral malignancies and those who failed to give consent were excluded from the study.

The sample size was calculated using the formula n=Z2pq/d2 where p was set as 50%. The minimum sample size thus calculated was 384 participants. However, this was increased by 10% to 422 participants to cover for attrition. Convenient sampling method was used in selecting the participants.

The questionnaire which was adapted from previous studies (12),(13) was interviewer administered questions which were divided into three sections. The first section contained questions pertaining to the socio-demographic characteristics of the respondents (age, address, occupation, marital status, religion, tribe, educational status and the number of children the respondent had). The second section contained five questions assessing the oral health knowledge of the respondents while the third section contained six questions assessing the oral health practices of the respondents. The questionnaire was pretested among antenatal clinic attendees at the Enugu State University Teaching Hospital, a state owned sister teaching hospital in Enugu to allow for adjustment of the questions in order to facilitate answering before the commencement of the study. The questionnaires were then consecutively administered to consenting women by trained interviewers until the sample size was reached.

Education was categorised as primary, secondary and tertiary (such polytechnic and university education) (13). Parity was categorised as primigravida, multiparous (1-4 deliveries) and grand multiparous (≥5). Women with good oral health practices were those who brushed at least twice daily with toothbrush and paste and changed their toothbrushes at least every three months. Oral health knowledge was categorised into yes and no response.

Statistical Analysis

The data was analysed using SPSS for windows version 22.0 (SPSS Inc. Chicago IL). Statistical analysis was both descriptive and cross tabulation of socio-demographic characteristics and inference determined by chi-square. A p-value<0.05 was considered statistically significant.


A total of 413 questionnaires were properly completed and analysed. Majority of the respondents were Christians (n=397, 96.12%), 165 (39.95%) were salary earners while 232 (56.17%) were multiparous women. Further details of the socio-demographic characteristics of the respondents are shown in (Table/Fig 1).

Only 30 (29.70%) of the women who knew that oral health in pregnancy could have adverse effects on the unborn child got the information from their obstetricians (Table/Fig 2). Majority (n=350, 84.75) of the respondents used toothbrush and toothpaste for oral cleaning. Further details of the oral health pattern of the respondents are in (Table/Fig 3). Although 83.8% (n=346) of the respondents agreed that women should have dental checkup during pregnancy, only 36 (8.7%) actually had dental checkup while the majority (n=377, 91.3%) did not.

Age, occupation, religion and educational status showed significant association with awareness of effects of pregnancy on oral health whereas place of residence did not (Table/Fig 4). Age, occupation, religion and educational status showed significant association with awareness of effects of poor oral health on the unborn child whereas place of residence did not (Table/Fig 5).


It has been established that good oral health during pregnancy is important in achieving favorable pregnancy outcome (13). Periodontal disease which is the most common oral disease in pregnancy can be prevented by good oral care including flossing and regular brushing (13). Good oral care practices can be influenced by an individual’s oral health knowledge (13). However, there were gaps in the oral health knowledge among pregnant women in Enugu as observed in the index study which was a cross-sectional study. Only 39% and 24.5% were aware that pregnancy has effects on oral health and that poor oral health could have adverse effects on pregnancy outcome unlike in previous study were the participants displayed average/good oral health knowledge (6),(13). Even though majority of the participants were highly educated like in previous study carried out in the South-south of Nigeria (12), it would have been expected that the participants would have above average oral health knowledge but this was not the case in present study.

Oral health awareness showed significant association with age, educational status, occupation and religion. Just like in previous studies; the more educated a woman is the better the knowledge (6),(13). However, a similar study showed that though majority of the respondents were educated, half of them were not aware of oral health problems (12).

Although there were gaps in oral health knowledge of the participants, a good number had good oral health practices. Above average number of the participants in present study brushed at least twice daily while the majority of them used toothpaste and brush for oral care as well as changed their toothbrushes once in three months. A similar result was obtained in a study carried out in Calabar where 94.4% used toothbrush and toothpaste for oral cleaning and 89.9% in North eastern Nigeria (2),(12). However, in previous studies, majority of the women believed that brushing should be done twice daily but only few of them actually brushed twice daily (9),(14),(15). This may be attributed to the cultural beliefs and practices of the different population.

The majority of women in present study believed that women should have dental checkup during pregnancy, only 8.7% actually had dental checkup. Similar report of low dental service utilisation has been reported (6),(12). These low dental services may be attributed to poor exposure of pregnant women to oral healthcare knowledge by the obstetricians and even the dentists. In present study, only 29.7% of the women got information about oral health from their obstetricians. Further studies on the determinants of dental consultation between pregnant women in Enugu and the obstetricians’ knowledge and attitude regarding oral health would be worthwhile.


This study had some limitations therefore the results should be reported with caution. The study was based on self-reported data so there may be elements of biases and may not have reflected the opinions of the respondents. Another limitation was that convenient sampling method was used to select the participants. The study was carried out in a tertiary institution with majority of the women being educated and living in urban areas of Enugu and therefore the results may not be generalised.


There were knowledge gaps in the oral health of pregnant women in Enugu southeastern Nigeria. It is therefore important to provide oral health education for pregnant women during antenatal period in order to improve the health of the mother and her baby.


Dias MS, Pimentel M, Vasconcellos A, Ribeiro A. Oral health awareness- related to behavior, knowledge, attitudes among Brazillian pregnants. Conference paper (General section). IADR. 2010;4631.
Bukar M, Audu BM, Adesina OA, Marupa JY. Oral health practices among pregnant women in North Eastern Nigeria. Niger J Clin Pract. 2012;15:302-05. [crossref] [PubMed]
Oral health care during pregnancy expert workshop. Oral healthcare during pregnancy: A national consensus statement. Washington, DC. National maternal and child oral health Resource Center. 2012. Available at:
Offenbacher S, Katz V, Fertik G, Collins J, Boyd D, Maynor G. Periodontal infection as a possible risk factor for preterm low birth weight. J Periodontol. 1996;67(10 suppl):1103-13. [crossref]
Bamanikar S, Kee LK. Knowledge, attitude and practice of oral and dental healthcare in pregnant women. Oman Med J. 2013;28(4):288-91. [crossref] [PubMed]
Thomas NJ, Middleton PF, Crowther CA. Oral and dental health care practices in pregnant women in Australia: A postnatal survey. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 2008;8:13. [crossref] [PubMed]
Silk H, Douglass AB, Douglass JM, Silk L. Oral health during pregnancy. Am Fam Physician. 2008;77(8):1139-44.
Oral health-WHO. 2020. Available at:
Oral health care during pregnancy and through the lifespan. Committee Opinion No. 569. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Obstet Gynecol. 2013;122:417-22. [crossref] [PubMed]
Adeniyi AA, Sofola OO, Kalliecharan RV. An appraisal of the oral health care system in Nigeria. Int Dent J. 2012;62(6):292-300. [crossref] [PubMed]
Uguru N, Onwujekwe O, Ogu UU, Uguru C. Access to oral health care: A focus on dental caries treatment provision in Enugu Nigeria. BMC Oral Health. 2020;20(1):145. [crossref] [PubMed]
Bassey GO, Anyanaechi CE, Ekabua KJ, Ekabua JE. Oral health among antenatal care attendees in Calabar, Nigeria. J Obstet Gynaecol. 2010;30(2):143-46. [crossref] [PubMed]
Adeniyi A, Agbaje O, Braimoh M, Ogunbanjo O, Modupe S, Olubunmi O. A survey of the oral health knowledge and practices of pregnant women in a Nigerian teaching hospital. Afr J Reprod Health. 2011;15(4):14-19.
Agbelusi GA, Sofola OO, Jeboda SO. Oral health knowledge, attitude and practices of pregnant women in Lagos University Teaching Hospital. Nig Qt J Hosp Med. 1999;9(2):116-20. [crossref]
Ogunbodede EO, Olusile AO, Ogunniyi SO, Faleyimu BL. Socio-economic factors and dental health in an obstetric population. West Afr J Med. 1996;5(1):158-60.

DOI and Others


Date of Submission: Dec 31, 2020
Date of Peer Review: Apr 03, 2021
Date of Acceptance: Jul 06, 2021
Date of Publishing: Aug 01, 2021

• Financial or Other Competing Interests: None
• Was Ethics Committee Approval obtained for this study? Yes
• Was informed consent obtained from the subjects involved in the study? Yes
• For any images presented appropriate consent has been obtained from the subjects. NA

• Plagiarism X-checker: Jan 14, 2021
• Manual Googling: Jul 05, 2021
• iThenticate Software: Jul 31, 2021 (16%)

ETYMOLOGY: Author Origin

JCDR is now Monthly and more widely Indexed .
  • Emerging Sources Citation Index (Web of Science, thomsonreuters)
  • Index Copernicus ICV 2017: 134.54
  • Academic Search Complete Database
  • Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)
  • Embase
  • EBSCOhost
  • Google Scholar
  • HINARI Access to Research in Health Programme
  • Indian Science Abstracts (ISA)
  • Journal seek Database
  • Google
  • Popline (reproductive health literature)